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Chicago Rabbinate Calls for High Standards in Jewish Activities

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Jewish organizations of all kinds were urged today by the Chicago Board of Rabbis to refrain from programs and activities which ignored “the high standards and morals of our people.”

The board made its request in a letter to officials of all synagogues and philanthropic and fraternal organizations. The letter urged that before an organization planned a project, the question should be asked as to whether it was appropriate for the Sabbath or a Jewish holiday, if scheduled on such a day, and whether the program was in keeping with the standards of the “People of the Book.”

The board also asked that before an article or photograph was released to the public press, the senders should consider whether “it will reflect on the dignity and moral standards of Judaism.” The rabbis said that while they did not consider themselves “exclusive keepers of the public morals,” they did believe that “every Jew is his brother’s keeper and every Jewish organization shares in the responsibility for the image of the entire Jewish community.”

Rabbi Mordecai Simon, executive director of the rabbinical body, which represents Orthodox, Conservative and Reform rabbis, said that the appeal referred to congregations and organizations which schedule fund-raising and other activities on the Sabbath. He said the rabbis also were concerned about Sabbath tours and trips from which worship was excluded and efforts in stage presentations considered in bad taste for a congregation to sponsor.

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